Compass Lexecon published an opportunity study for the development of a series of NUWARD SMRs in France, opening up further opportunities for decarbonisation
Initially, NUWARD SMR's development objectives were for export, in particular to replace coal-fired power stations, as well as for operation on medium-sized electricity grids. However, as the SMR market has matured, so has the interest shown by manufacturers. Indeed, the possible applications do not stop there: NUWARD SMR can deliver part of its energy in the form of decarbonised steam, which opens up a number of other applications in addition to electricity production.
In addition to low-carbon electricity production, the hybridisation capacity and size of NUWARD SMRs make them a beneficial option for decarbonising certain uses or industries that, until now, have not been covered by nuclear power.
Firstly, the study shows that NUWARD SMR's use as a generator can be complementary to high-power reactors (existing power plants and EPR2) as well as renewable energies, thanks to its small size. NUWARD SMR could alleviate grid constraints, reuse former industrial sites and thus help to limit land artificialisation.
It is also resilient to water stress, which, in the context of climate change, is an ever-pervasive issue.
• Industry: the chemical, paper and food industries are potential outlets for the heat produced by the SMR, given the characteristics of the heat consumed and the long-term prospects.
• Hydrogen production: using a high-temperature electrolyser would make it possible to meet a demand for hydrogen that is set to grow by 50% between now and 2050, with excellent energy efficiency.
Other potential uses are identified in the study, such as district heating networks and seawater desalination.
The study concludes by identifying the conditions needed to reap the benefits of a series of NUWARD SMRs in France.